Making up for lost time, Spring 2014 will see a flurry of global Mormon studies explorations with THREE exciting conferences at Brigham Young University (Provo and Salt Lake City, UT, March 6-7), Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA, March 22), and Utah Valley University (Orem, UT, Spring 2014).
The program for the “Global Crossroads” conference on March 22nd is already out and features a star-studded cast including Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Joanna Brooks, and Gina Colvin. It features cutting-edge research from emerging scholars, including Pierre Vendassi’s doctoral work on native Chinese Mormons in the PRC and Grace Kwok’s masters thesis on Hong Kong women’s perceptions of Americanization in the international church.
Other notable presenters include Bob Rees (Vice President of the Liahona Children’s Foundation), Pui-yan Kwok and Abby Li (eminent scientists and pillars of the LDS San Francisco stake), and Charles Shiro Inouye (professor of Japanese Literature and Visual Culture at Tufts University). The fourth and final session of the conference will be a “dream team” interreligious dialogue between Jerry Hirano, minister of the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, and Ann Takasaki, recently released member of the LDS Young Women’s General Board.
The conference planning committee consists of Brittany Chapman (historian-archivist, LDS Church History Department), Elizabeth Heath (global acquisition specialist, LDS Church History Department), Staci Ford (professor, University of Hong Kong), Bob Rees, and Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye (lecturer, University of Hong Kong).
Fittingly for a conference aiming to capture the realities of Mormonism as a dynamic religious tradition in dialogue with a global world, the March 22nd “Global Crossroads: Mormonism and Asia in the Twenty-First Century” event will be hosted by the Pacific School of Religion at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California and will feature participants from several different countries, disciplines, and religious backgrounds.
All eagerly await the announcement of the programs for the BYU and UVU conferences, which will also be wonderful! These groundbreaking meetings are not to be missed. Please mark your calendars and start making plans to attend!